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Mary Jo Wegner was a woman of passionate and dedicated knowledge for the arts and culture in Sioux Falls. She also along with her husband Karl was instrumental to the development of a four year medical school at the University of South Dakota. The Karl and Mary Jo Wegner Health Science Information was established through this endeavor.
Mary Jo practiced the art and science of giving back to her community through a number of board memberships and hands on planning for the beauty of the arts and the environment that involved the South Dakota Symphony, the Center for Western Studies and the Sioux Falls Arts Council to name a few of the many.
Because of her many talents and passions with people, the arts and her community, the Mary Jo Wegner Arboretum and East Sioux Falls Historic Site was dedicated to her. On their website the following describes her vision and contributions: “A dream, gently tucked away on the east side of Sioux Falls: When Mary Jo Wegner first walked this serene 145-acre plot, she found a historic wonder blossoming with colorful remnants, stone quarries, rail lines, building foundations, and more. At that moment in her vivid imagination, something magical began to grow. The city of Falls recognized the site’s historic and cultural relevance. They planted the seed. It was Mary Jo, and dreamers like her, who nurtured the seed into the grand vision which inspires this preservation effort. The Arboretum will educate people of all ages on the natural history of our area, and provide economic development as Sioux Falls becomes an even more attractive place to live and work.”